Toronto and many other parts of Canada lost its collective mind yesterday when the Blue Jays clinched their first division title in 22 years. To put that drought into perspective, let’s look back to see what was happening in music on October 1, 1993.
- Kurt Cobain was still alive. Nirvana was preparing the record their MTV Unplugged album.
- Michael Jackson was still alive, too, and still selling lots of records. He performed at Super Bowl XVII in January. But in August, we heard that he was being investigated on charges of child molestation.
- Pearl Jam was about to released Vs, their second album. It would go on to become (briefly) the biggest first-week debut ever on the Billboard album charts, selling 950,000 copies in its first seven days.
- Oasis had played their first gig at King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut in Glasgow earlier in the year and were now the property of Creation Records.
- Depeche Mode had become one of the very first bands to hold an online chat session with their fans. They did a Q&A session with AOL about their new album, Songs of Faith and Devotion. It was a technical disaster. Even the band couldn’t log on.
- MP3s were still in development, so the only way you could steal music was to take hours or even days to download a full .wav file using your dial-up modem from an IRC channel.
- Chances are your computer (which was probably running Windows 3.1) didn’t have a CD-ROM, let alone a CD burner.
- The iPod was still eight years off. In fact, Steve Jobs was still in exile from Apple. He wouldn’t return to the company until 1997.
- Prince had just changed his name to “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” as a protest against the way he was treated by his record label.
- Taylor Swift was three years old. Lorde wouldn’t be born for another three years.
BONUS: I’d just started running Ongoing History of New Music Shows earlier in the year. In a couple of days, episode number 32 would run (part nine of a series called “10 Bands That Mattered,” which was all about the Talking Heads). I’m now writing episode 732. Wow.
BONUS BONUS: The top three alt-rock albums that here were:
- Siamese Dream/Smashing Pumpkins
- In Utero/Nirvana
- Songs of Faith and Devotion/Depeche Mode